The news seems surprising but Chicago is living a real hotel boom. And this, despite the devastating effect that the covid pandemic will have in 2020. According to the few figures available on the state of tourism in 2020 in the metropolis, the number of international arrivals fell by 80.3% last year.
The four leading European markets (UK, Germany, France and Spain) generated 45,000 arrivals last year. It is less than the only French market in 2019 which then reached 48,000 arrivals! In fact, these four countries represented more than 315,000 arrivals in 2019.
For 2021, the “Choose Chicago” tourist office was counting on 115,000 travelers from the top four European markets. The persistence of closed borders with Europe certainly makes this prognosis impractical.
Chicago attracted more than 50 million annual travelers before the crisis. Of which a large part for the business tourism. But in 2020, the exhibition center McCormick Place has registered the cancellation of 100 events, undermining Chicago’s preeminent role as a convention and exhibition center.
This obviously had repercussions on the hotel industry in the city. Demand fell 73.7% last year, with occupancy plunging nearly 65%. The hotel offer has thus fallen by more than 25%. According to Choose Chicago, the supply in the CBD (Central Business District) totaled 135 hotels and 43,881 rooms.
And yet, the resumption of domestic tourism – especially in neighboring states of Illinois – gives hope to hoteliers in town. Optimism is in order. And this even translates to the opening or renovation of nearly ten hotel establishments in the metropolis. Many of these establishments have taken possession of historic skyscrapers, converted after the relocation of offices and institutions.
Choose Chicago thus identifies for 2021 theopening of eight establishments. The most spectacular being the Sable on Navy Pier (managed by Hilton), the Pendry Hotel and the future St Regis.
Hotels, architectural icons
Located in a minimalist building and very low so as not to alter the historic aspect of the pier, the Sable Hotel at Navy Pier has 223 rooms, a conference center and two restaurants. Its Offshore Rooftop and Bar is the largest rooftop terrace in the United States with 2,000 m2 of area.
This August, the Millennium Park, member of Chicago Hotel Collection, opens its doors. It is an aparthotel comprising studio and suites of 2, 3 or 4 rooms. Another establishment will be open to Wicker park in September 2021.
In June, Pendry Hotels & Resorts inaugurated the Pendry Chicago. The five-star establishment is housed in an icon of art deco architecture, the Carbide & Carbon Building. The establishment offers 364 rooms and suites, several restaurants and bars, including a “rooftop”, 1,300 m2 of conference spaces and a fitness club.
Marriott for its part opened the SpringHill Suites Chicago Chinatown, first international establishment in Chinatown. It offers 148 comfortable suites as well as a gym.
Also in September, the Canopy by Hilton Central Loop will open its doors. Located near the Chicago Art Institute, it offers 192 rooms and 23 suites and includes a bistro-style restaurant, business center and gym.
Another building of historical significance, the LaSalle Hotel must open in the fall. It will be located on the floors above the current JW Marriott. It is therefore more of an extension by Marriott than a real new establishment. The LaSalle Hotel will offer 234 rooms
Finally, Chicago eagerly awaits its future five star St Regis. Located in the heart of the business district, the hotel is part of a transparent structure, appearing wavy in the sky. On the edge of the Chicago River, it is the third tallest building in the city with its 101 floors. Part of the building will house the 191 rooms and restaurants of the St Regis, the other floors being allocated to 390 residential apartments. Opening planned before the end of the year …
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